5 Unique Things To Do In Amritsar

If you want to explore something beyond the Golden Temple and Wagah border, and explore the less-known aspects of this city, you might want to check out these best offbeat things to do in Amritsar
Amritsar Golden Temple
Amritsar Golden Temple Shutterstock

Amritsar, a city steeped in history and culture, is most renowned for the Golden Temple, a place of spiritual solace and one of India's most iconic landmarks. However, Amritsar has more to offer than just its famous shrine. Beyond the bustling streets and mouthwatering food, the city hides a treasure trove of unique experiences waiting to be explored. If you're planning a trip to Amritsar, be sure to include these offbeat activities in your itinerary to make the most of your visit.

Head To The Terrace Of Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib

If you're looking for a great view of Amritsar, head to the terrace of Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib. This historic gurudwara, which was once the tallest structure in the city at 45 meters and nine floors, offers a great view of the Golden Temple, which is located just a few steps away, as well as the entire city. Do not miss the small meditation room at the topmost level, which has a balcony that provides an even more impressive view.

Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib
Gurudwara Baba Atal SahibWikimediaCommons

From up here, you can see a large part of the city and easily spot major buildings like shopping malls and hotels, even if they're far away. However, please note that there is no elevator—you'll need to climb the stairs to reach the top. The door to the stairs is open every morning from 7 am to 10 am and from 3 pm to 6 pm in the evening. Be sure to stop on the second floor to see the rare murals depicting the life of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.

Wander Along The Walled City

Vehicles enter the walled city at the Hall Gate, Amritsar
Vehicles enter the walled city at the Hall Gate, AmritsarShutterstock

If you are tired of planning and travelling and want to go easy on the cash for a day, you should definitely take a stroll through the narrow lanes of the walled city and soak up the sights and sounds of this historic area. The streets, dotted with vintage architecture reflecting Mughal, Sikh, and Colonial designs, signify their own eras. As you walk, you'll observe everyday life unfolding along the way with streets full of kids chasing each other, exhaling the morning air, pestering vendors and even some horse carriages, which are mostly seen in these old streets.

For the best experience, choose to visit in the morning, before 8 am, if you are not one to get pushed around in the rush and noise. Don't forget to take breaks during your walk to try some delicious local treats, from kulcha and lassi in the morning to chaat and kulfis in the evening, while eves dropping the old uncles in the city discussing everyday things over a cup of chai. Amritsari people are welcoming; if you are polite enough, you might even get to join in the conversation.

Take A Free Bus To Explore The Historic Gurdwaras

If you're planning to explore the historic gurdwaras of Amritsar and the neighbouring Tarn Taran district, you can take the free bus service provided by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). The bus departs every morning by 8 from Gurudwara Saragarhi, located near the famous statue of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. It covers a total of five gurudwaras, with the longest stop being at Baba Budha Sahib, where you get the chance to lose yourself in the holy community kitchen experience.

The driver also doubles up as a guide and provides interesting insights about each of the gurdwaras. It is never a bad idea to take pictures and mingle with other travellers, which widens your horizon of the culture in the city and helps you make friends. To register for the journey, you can visit the office of the bus service, which is located on the back side of Golden Temple's community kitchen. It's recommended to register at least two hours before the departure time.

Visit The Past Through The Central Sikh Museum

Central Sikh Museum in Golden Temple, Amritsar
Central Sikh Museum in Golden Temple, AmritsarShutterstuck

Did you know that the Golden Temple has a museum called the Central Sikh Museum next to its main entrance? The museum was set up by SGPC in 1958 and allows visitors to dive into Sikh history through hundreds of large paintings described in English, Hindi, and Punjabi. The museum also houses old manuscripts of the Guru Granth Sahib, belongings of Sikh gurus, such as the wooden comb of Guru Gobind Singh, the turban ring of Baba Deep Singh, and a sword of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. If you're interested in a guided tour, the museum also offers this service, and the two resident artists can often be found working within the museum.

Golden Temple Plaza in front of the Main Entrance to the Golden Temple
Golden Temple Plaza in front of the Main Entrance to the Golden Temple Shutterstock

If you are interested in learning history through digital media, don't forget to visit the digital museum about Sikh history under the Golden Temple plaza, which opened just a few years ago. The digital museum offers a 50-minute 3D experience through different galleries. Both museums are open daily, and there's free entry. If you want to learn the history of Amritsar, you can also visit Gobindgarh Fort on old Cantonment Road, which throws a major light on Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's rule.


Central Sikh Museum: Opens daily, 7 am to 7 pm

Digital Museum: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday closed

Live The Rural Life Of Punjab At Saada Pind

The Saada Pind living theme park is spread over several acres and completely immerses you in the rural life of Punjab. It's located on the Amritsar bypass, not far from the Ram Tirath Road, and is a complete replica of an old village, with homes made of mud and a simple yet vibrant lifestyle full of traditions and rituals. Local men and women from surrounding villages work here, dressed traditionally, and invite you to participate in various activities, such as folk singing and dancing, and arts and crafts, such as embroidery and pottery. You can also explore the al fresco kitchens and enjoy the meal included in your ticket, which is currently priced at INR 850 for an adult. Prices for children are discounted according to their height.

Timings: Opens daily at 10:30 am with last entry at 8:30 pm

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